Advocacy group releases investment workforce survey

WASHINGTON — Associated Builders and Contractors recently released its 2024 Workforce Development Survey, revealing that member contractors invested $1.6 billion in 2023 to provide craft, leadership, and health and safety education to over 1.3 million course attendees nationwide. This investment increased from $1.5 billion in 2022 and remained consistent with $1.6 billion in 2021.

Key findings include:

  • Safety education accounts for the greatest share of total workforce investment at 59%, stable since 2022.
  • ABC contractors invested an average of 7.5% of payroll on workforce development in 2023, a slight decrease from 8% in 2022.
  • Trade and specialty contractors increased their share of total workforce development investment to 50% in 2023 from 42% in 2022.
  • 58% of respondents reported a severe or very severe labor shortage, citing the exodus of baby boomers as the primary cause.
  • 81% of respondents utilizing virtual or augmented reality used it for safety education.

“ABC member contractors not only build and rebuild structures with excellence but also help develop lifelong, durable, transferable skill sets for their employees by investing billions to cultivate career progression in commercial and industrial construction,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of health, safety, environment, and workforce development. “This investment responds to the need for more than half a million additional construction workers in 2024 alone. Workforce development is part of the culture of ABC member contractors, who continue to choose flexible, competency-based, and market-driven methods to upskill their workforces.

Construction is one of the few industries where individuals can become apprentices, earn paychecks while learning the necessary skills, and receive portable, industry-recognized credentials that further their careers.”

The annual workforce development survey quantifies the scope of ABC members’ education and upskilling initiatives to advance employees’ careers in commercial and industrial construction, building the places where we gather, live, work, learn, and heal.

ABC’s all-encompassing approach to upskilling has produced a network of over 800 apprenticeships, craft, health and safety, and management education programs, including more than 450 government-registered apprenticeship programs across 20 different occupations, to develop a safe, skilled, and productive workforce. Nationally, ABC chapters have 328 entry-point programs to welcome individuals to begin careers in construction. Members contribute about $500,000 annually to ABC’s Trimmer Construction Education Fund to support developing a skilled, safe, and sustainable workforce through grants awarded to its chapters.



Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user dakotasmith
About the author
Dakota Smith | Editorial Intern

Dakota Smith is an undergraduate student at New Jersey City University studying English and Creative Writing. He is a writer at heart, and a cook by trade. His career goal is to become an author. At Woodworking Network, Dakota is an editorial intern, ready to dive into the world of woods and words.